Two steps forward . . . one step back . . . one step forward . . . two steps back . . . two steps forward . . . one step back.
Life often feels this way - especially our spiritual lives. We gain some ground in an area and then we discover we're going back again. If we notice, we can change direction again before we go all the way back.
In those moments, it can feel like we'll never get beyond this - like we'll always struggle in that specific area. We feel that because we're only seeing a small part of the whole. In that moment when we feel like we failed again all we see is the distance between where we were and where we are now. The distance we fell.
But, we're missing the bigger picture when that's all we're looking at. We're only seeing the distance we fell, not the greater distance we've come. That greater distance can only be seen when we pull back from the immediate. It requires us to change our perspective.
Changing our perspective doesn't mean we ignore what just happened or pretend it's not big deal. Changing our perspective gives us the motivation to get up and keep moving forward. As we see the journey we've been on that includes many moments of what looks and felt like going backwards, but we also see that overall we've been moving forward.
In those moments when we've fallen and gone backwards, we can be assured that we follow a God who gives us the opportunity to get up and try again, with Him helping us move on. Many of our heroes in the Bible have this as their story - Abraham, Moses, David, to name a few. They all had failures and struggles, but they got back up and kept going with God.
In our moments of greatest failure and struggle, we easily get discouraged if we focus only on the failure or the struggle. But, when we remember all that ground we have already covered with God walking with us, we have the courage to get back up and keep going.
Sometimes to change our perspective, we have to be intentional about remembering it all. We have to go back and remind ourselves of it all. Remind ourselves where we were and how far we've gone with God. Remind ourselves of all the second, third, tenth, hundredth chances God has given us and how eventually we walked it the way God was trying to take us.
Where are you right now?
Can you see the bigger picture of the whole journey?
Or are you lost in the latest failure or struggle and in need of a perspective change?